Wednesday, May 20, 2009

July 1st is the Deadline on Cobo and the Auto Show

Talk to me about this. While I agree that the Senate Republicans are using some heavy-handed tactics here, I don't see the Detroit Council stepping up with any answers or acceptable counter proposals when it comes to saving the Auto Show.

Time is running out.

A Senate proposal that would make it possible for the North American International Auto Show to move to Oakland County if Detroit City Council doesn't accept a Cobo Center deal by July 1 may be Michigan's last hope to keep the show in the state, according to testimony this morning -- but an ultimatum is unlikely to move the council to accept the deal, Senate Democrats said.

State Sen. Tupac Hunter, D-Detroit, said the deadline makes City Council members feel a "gun is now being placed to their head saying, 'Accept or we move.' " He asked Doug Fox, chair of the 2010 show, whether he's in talks with venues outside Michigan -- or even outside Oakland County -- that are interested in taking on the auto show. Fox said no such talks are under way, but it's critical that the venue be decided this summer so plans can get under way for the 2011 auto show.

But will the Council even put an idea or a voice of compromise into the argument? When they won't even show up for testimony...

No one from the City of Detroit or Wayne County appeared to testify at the hearing. Initial reaction to the legislation, introduced Tuesday in the Republican-controlled Senate, from the city and its representatives ranged from tepid to hostile.

... then what are we supposed to do?

I usually don't like weighing in on Detroit politics (something tells me to stay as far away from Monica Conyers as I can) - but we are talking state money and reputation here. It would be a shame to lose this show to another state.